The Delightful City – A Trans-Pennine Conversation

Fittingly for this event, I was delighted to be invited by Gerry Proctor and the brilliant team at Engage to join a panel of superb Liverpool women and an equally brilliant Leeds panel in a two-part, trans-Pennine conversation to consider how our respective cities delight us.

Delivered virtually and in the confines of (the first) national lockdown, the conversation naturally considered a post-COVID future and what lessons we could take into that future from the extraordinary individual and collective actions and behaviours that the pandemic has necessitated.

It was great to spend an evening or two coming at things from such a positive angle in the middle of such difficult circumstances, and reassuring to hear panellists speak about diversity of representation, the power of collective action, community-led resilience and the restorative power of nature (including reconnecting with house plants!)

Many thanks to all for a great conversation, which I hope will continue – hands across the Pennines!

GM Lives!

It was great to spend a year back in Manchester, based at the MIAHSC (Manchester Institute of Arts, Health and Social Change) office at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and working collaboratively with colleagues from the GM Mayor’s Office, GM Culture, ‘Live Well, Make Art’, GM Health & Social Care Partnership and Health Innovation Manchester.

My commission focussed on stakeholder engagement and partnership-working, supporting the MIAHSC’s launch and first year of activity, and co-developing Greater Manchester’s strategic response to the emerging national ‘Creative Health’ agenda.

There is so much superb work going on across GM (and beyond) at the various and critical points where culture and wellbeing intersect. It is work, of course, that has since come into sharp focus with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was a privilege to work with the ‘Live Well, Make Art’ programme and with arts and health colleagues from across GM in revealing and celebrating their work for the forthcoming ‘GM Lives! GM Culture, Health & Wellbeing Study 2020’. The study is due for publication post-lockdown.

It was great too to have the time to reflect on my PhD research and to further my work in exploring new metrics and ways of measuring the economy. Our ‘Yardsticks and Dreamscapes’ event brought partners together in an interactive exploration of sensory ways to measure arts and health impacts through emotions, sentiment and feeling.

Following the event, I was very pleased to be invited to lead a provocation session for colleagues from Public Health England and Liverpool City-Region colleagues around new approaches to commissioning and evaluation in arts and health.

Provocation Session with PHE and Liverpool City-Region arts & health colleagues

As we look to a post-COVID future, I hope our work at MIAHSC and the research findings presented in the ‘GM Lives!’ report will contribute to shaping a progressive and collective route forward.

Basque Country Summer School – ‘Open Innovation’

I was so pleased to be invited to lecture on ‘Open Innovation’ at the Basque Country Summer School 2018, in sunny San Sebastian. It was such a great experience to work with and learn from colleagues from the Basque Country’s Innovation team and the University of the Basque Country’s Agirre Centre, and in particular to find out more about Mondragon and social ownership models.

A short introductory video featuring my pidgin scouse/Spanish is available here:

and my full keynote lecture (in English!) is available here:

Cottonmouth MCR

It was a real pleasure for me to join Vaughan Allen, Chief Exec of Manchester’s City Co, as a featured guest on the ‘Cottonmouth MCR’ podcast and to chat about economics, inclusion, development and ‘A Fourth Way’.

It’s not often they feature scousers on these – think just me and Andy Burnham!

Indigo Prize 2017

In late 2017, I was delighted to hear that my proposals around ‘A Fourth Way’ had been judged in the top 10 entrants for the global Indigo Prize. The prize had been launched to explore alternatives to GDP as a measure of economic success. Coming 6th was no mean feat given that my solo efforts landed ‘up there’ with the UoCambridge and UoManchester economics teams!

Sadly, I came just outside of the prize fund places – but was very pleased to be recognised and published in the top 10 collection.

The journal can be downloaded here: Indigo Prize 2017